Visual Basic and Access Database Programmer
  Neville
Silverman

Visual Basic Programmer, Sydney
Microsoft Access Database Programmer

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(02) 9453-0456

Windows PC Performance Tuning

Windows PC Performance TuningWhen you first get your brand new Computer, it starts off by being very frisky – are you hopeful that somehow, the computer will just automatically keep on working as efficiently as the day you bought it?

Sorry to tell you, but this is very, very wrong! After a few years, or depending upon usage, a few months, response times will ALWAYS degrade. And the slower it gets, the more likely it is for something to go wrong.

Eventually and inevitably, the performance of a PC will degrade. When this happens, the need for tuning becomes an imperative.

The first step in Tuning a PC is to check on the functioning and capacity of the Disk drive:

  • Has it been defragmented lately?
  • Has it many redundant user files?
  • Has it many cookies and temporary files from the Internet?
  • Has it many files in the Recycle bin, or System files for logging, history, error reporting, etc.?

Many megabytes of files usually need deleting. See the page Improving Disk I/O Performance

After cleaning up all spurious files, do a search on "defrag", and click "Defragment and optimise your drives". Note that Defragmentation can be scheduled to take place automatically on a regular schedule.

After attending to all this, performance is almost always dramatically improved.

System performance still unacceptable?

If further improvements are needed, a more detailed analysis is required. A System Performance Analysis will allow the detection of all the causes of system degradation in the finite resources of Processor CPU, Memory, Network and Disk I/O.

The analysis will identify:

  • System Resource Usage
  • The times when Performance issues occur
  • Resource activity collisions and Bottlenecks
  • Services with the highest resource usage
  • Spurious Processes
  • Malware, Spyware, Scamware, Fakeware and Viruses

When the source of the problem has been identified, an action plan will be presented to rectify any problems.

Identifying Resource Bottlenecks

Tuning a Network Server or a PC involves eliminating any Bottlenecks - that is sub-systems that limit a computer system's performance and responsiveness.

A bottleneck occurs when performance is restricted by a single resource (i.e. CPU, Memory or Disk I/O) - and the resource is limited by its capacity to deliver. The main causes of Bottlenecks are:

  • Memory - inadequacies and overloads
  • Disk I/O - Unbalanced Disk drives and Disk bottlenecks
  • CPU usage - High, Medium and Low priority CPU usage
  • Processes - CPU Hogs or high Memory usage or high Disk I/O
  • Networking - Packets Sent, Received and in Error
  • SQL Server - CPU usage, Disk I/O and Network activity

These Bottlenecks will occur frequently on a stressed computer system - when the computer system is unable to respond at an acceptable level. Other resources will be idle waiting for the Bottleneck to clear.